- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unslated butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons (about) ice water
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.
For those who don’t love to make pie crust or the hands-on feeling of dough, this is a perfect pie crust it starts with using a food processor. Add the flour (sometimes I replace half with whole wheat flour) and salt to a food processor and run for a few seconds to combine. With the machine still running, add the cut-up cold butter pieces through the chute. The mixture should be crumbly and look like wet sand.
Turn the food processor on again and slowly add enough ice-cold water until a dough ball forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. At this point, shape the dough into a disk, wrap it with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can freeze it for a total of 20 minutes, if you are in a hurry.
Chilling the dough will ensure that the dough is easy to roll out and work with. It also allows the dough to rest so that it becomes melt-in-your-mouth flaky rather than tough.
Once the dough is chilled, you can roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it reaches a 1/4-inch thickness. Once it is rolled out, it should be able to fit a traditional pie plate. However, if you would like a double crust pie, you can make two batches. Alternatively, you could use a round cutter to cut smaller portions of dough for tarts or mini galettes.
How to Turn the Dough into a Galette
For a large galette, you can simply transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet before adding your filling, and folding the edges over sides while leaving some fruit exposed. Then, you bake them in a 400°F oven until golden.
You can even use a round cutter to cut out rounds of dough for individual-sized galettes. The total baking time for these can vary depending on the size of your galettes and the type of filling you use.
How to Turn the Dough into a Pie
If you would like to make a single shell pie, roll out the dough and carefully transfer it to the pie plate. I like to gently roll the sheet of pie dough over the rolling pin to aid with moving it over to the pie plate.
Then, you can press the dough into the pie plate, ensuring that there are no folds. You can either crimp the dough into a pretty pattern or trim the overhang. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to reduce puffing up during baking.
I highly recommend blind baking the crust, which involves weighing it down during the first part of baking so that the crust won’t puff up. To do this, place a sheet of parchment paper over the dough. It will easier mold to the inside of the pie crust if the parchment has been crumpled up first. Next, add pie weights, beads, rice, dried beans, or sugar on top for weight.
Then, you bake the flaky pie crust in a 400°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Make sure that the parchment paper is large enough that you can grab the edges and lift the weights out easily after baking.
At this stage, you can add your choice of filling to your homemade pie crust and continue to bake. Alternatively, you can continue to bake the crust until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes more. This method is ideal if you would like to add a no-bake filling to your pie, such as chocolate pudding or coconut cream.
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- ¼ cup ice water, plus more as needed
In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Using your hands, toss butter through flour until each piece is well-coated. Cut butter into flour by pressing butter between your fingers and thumbs, flattening the cubes into big shards. For a flaky crust, mix until butter pieces are about the width of walnut halves. For a sturdier crust (for custard pies and for use with decorative techniques), mix until the butter is about the size of peas.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. Start by adding 1/4 cup ice water and tossing the flour mixture gently (rather than stirring) to moisten and incorporate the water without overworking the flour. Continue adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and tossing until dough comes together. (Dough should hold together easily without feeling wet or sticky.)
Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Once well chilled, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/8-inch thick. Press firmly and evenly, rotating the dough as you work to prevent sticking without adding too much flour. (Ideally dough will also be about 1 inch wider than your pie plate on all sides.)
To transfer dough to pie plate, starting at one end of dough, wrap it around the rolling pin. Lift pin to edge of pie plate and unfurl the dough. Press dough into the base of the pie plate and trim excess dough to 1/2 inch around outside edge of pie plate. Tuck dough under to be flush with the outer rim of pie plate. Crimp edges as desired, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To parbake: Use a fork to prick chilled crust all over base and sides. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than pie plate and press it into base of chilled crust. Fill crust with pie weights (such as dried beans) to brim, making sure weights are flush against sides. Place pie plate on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake on bottom rack of 425°F oven (preferably on a preheated baking stone) 12 to 15 minutes or until outer edge begins to brown. Remove parchment and pie weights and bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until bottom crust appears set. If crust puffs at any point, prick air bubble with a fork to deflate. Let cool completely before filling. Makes one single crust.
Make dough, wrap tightly, and refrigerate up to 2 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap then heavy foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator and let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.
One of my goals for 2016 was to develop a foolproof all butter pie crust that anyone could make. I spent hours researching the topic, and countless nights in my kitchen baking one pie after another. It was a long road and I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t always easy! Some of the pie crusts came out too greasy… others too dry… some wouldn’t roll out… some shrank the minute they entered the oven… and on and on and on it went. Until finally, after exactly 26 fails, my hard work paid off. Lucky number 27 was flaky, flavorful, and quickly became my all-time favorite.
So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my beloved foolproof all butter pie crust!
I should warn you – this recipe is not conventional. For starters, it only makes one pie crust per recipe. You’ll have a little over a pound of pie dough, which will provide you with plenty to cover the pie pan as well as some leftover scraps which you can use to make a braided crust, add decorative cutouts, or simply discard. If you’re making a double crusted pie, you’ll need to make this recipe twice so you have enough dough.
Choosing your ingredients:
- For this recipe you’ll need: flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, butter, water, and apple cider vinegar.
- Butter is easily the most important ingredient when it comes to making pie crust. Like many serious pie bakers, I love using European-style butter since it’s sweet and higher in fat content than standard butter, however any unsalted butter will work. No matter what brand of butter you use, make sure you keep it as cold as possible! I recommend cubing the chilled butter then sticking the cubes in the freezer for 5 minutes before getting to work.
- Most pie crust recipes use flour as the binder, however my recipe uses a combination of flour and cornstarch. The addition of cornstarch helps reduce the amount of gluten in the crust, which helps keeps it flaky and tender.
- The liquid we’ll be using in this recipe is a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. You’ll want to combine the two in a measuring cup, then place the mixture in the fridge until needed. If you find you need more liquid to bring the crust together, add one teaspoon of water at a time. Just be careful not to add too much! You’ll want the dough to be just moist enough that it holds together when pinched.
- I love using finely ground sea salt for this foolproof all butter pie crust, but kosher salt and even table salt will both work in a pinch.
- Choose a quality brand of flour you enjoy working with. I use unbleached King Arthur flour in my pie crust and highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking for a new brand to try.
- The most obvious tool you’ll need is a pie dish to bake your pie in! You can click here to check out my favorite glass pie plate and you can click here to check out my favorite ceramic pie plate.
- You’ll need a pastry cutter or dough blender to work the butter into the dry ingredients. I recently purchased this spring chef dough blender and absolutely LOVE it!
- If you don’t already own them, you’ll need accurate measuring cups and spoons. I suggest using stainless steal measuring cups and measuring spoons for the dry ingredients and a glass spouted measuring cup for the liquid ingredients.
- I have a million rolling pins, but this 12″ maple wood rolling pin is my favorite. It’s sturdy, beautiful, and rolls out dough like a champ.
- To prevent your pie crust from burning, buy a pie crust shield and place it on your pie after 30 minutes of baking. I use this Wilton silicon version all the time. You can also make a homemade version using tin foil. To do this, simply tear off a piece of foil about 30 inches long. Fold the sheet of foil into thirds, lengthwise, then fasten the ends with a paperclip. After 30 minutes of baking, gently slip the aluminum foil shield over the crust and leave it on until the pie is done baking.
- If you’re new to rolling out pie crust, a pie crust mat will come in handy! This silicon version is my favorite.
- You’ll need a spatula, so why not get this adorable “keep calm and bake on” one? I have about 30 of them! They’re cheap, durable, and fun.
- I posted a picture of this “I’m just here for dessert” pie server on my instagram last week and received so many questions on where to buy it. You can click here to check it out.
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:
- Read the recipe twice and follow it exactly as written! Making any changes to the ingredient list or method will certainly affect the overall outcome of your pie crust.
- Be aware of temperature the entire time you’re making the dough. It must never get warm and the butter must never melt!
- Make the pie crust in advance! It needs at least 2 hours in the fridge before being rolled out, another hour once it’s been fitted into the pie pan, and at least another 20 minutes after its been filled. If you decrease the chill time, the pie crust will most likely shrink when baking. If you plan on baking multiple pies in one day, I suggest making your pie crusts in advance. Pie crust will keep, wrapped well in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to two months.
- Choose the right pie dish. When I first started baking pies I had no idea how much this mattered! But it really, really does. Pie dishes come in many sizes, shapes, and are made from a variety of materials, such as glass, ceramic, aluminum, and metal. I prefer to bake with glass pie dishes because glass conducts heat evenly, which helps the crust and filling cook consistently. My second choice is ceramic pie dishes, which conduct heat just as well as glass, but can throw off the bake time, especially if you’re using a very thick ceramic plate. I avoid metal pie dishes when possible because they absorb heat very quickly and tend to produce overcooked pie crusts. If you must use a metal pie plate, I suggest keeping an eye on your pie, and adjusting your baking time as needed. This recipe makes enough pie dough to line a 9″ or 10″ pie plate.
- Be careful not to overwork your dough. Overworking the dough activates the gluten in the flour, which can cause the crust to become tough and shrink while baking. The good news? You can deactivate the gluten by placing the dough in the fridge to chill.
- Before rolling out your chilled pie crust, make sure it’s the right temperature by performing a simple test: press the dough lightly with your finger, your fingertip should leave an imprint but shouldn’t easily sink into the dough. If the dough is too soft, place it back in the fridge to continue chilling if the dough is too hard, let it soften at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.
So, are you ready to tackle this foolproof all butter pie crust or what?!
Super Easy Pie Crust: Press-In Butter Pastry
Making good pastry is a bit of a challenge. It’s not easy to make a lovely, flaky, tender crust that tastes amazing.
When I’m already cooking a full holiday meal, I don’t like to add the pressure of baking pie(s), but I don’t always have the time/energy/forethought to make them in advance. My typical pastry method involves giving the dough an overnight rest in the refrigerator, so this requires thinking way ahead of the game in order to bake pies one day prior.
Which is why I have a super easy, great-tasting press-in pastry recipe in my back pocket that I am sharing with you today. It is super quick, and eliminates the fuss of rolling out sticky dough and trying to shape and flute a crust. This super easy crust recipe makes it really easy to pop a pumpkin pie into the oven before the turkey, without any advance planning at all.
You simply cube some cold butter and cut it into a flour-salt mixture (a pastry cutter is ideal, but you can use a knife in either hand and slash it in) – the goal is to make split pea-sized lumps of butter that are dispersed throughout. I have fallen out of love with the food processor method – I find it is all to easy to make the butter chunks too small – the pie crust will still taste good, but won’t have a nice flaky-tender texture.
You see, the butter pieces melt in the dough and create layers (yielding flakiness) but they also create pockets of steam – the steam makes the dough rise a bit, giving it lift. If the butter pieces are too small, then you won’t get the same pockets of steam, and you’ll have a buttery, crunchy crust. Even if that happens for you, it’ll still be delicious, I promise, so don’t fret too much.
Another tip for sure success is to bake the pie in the bottom third of the oven, starting at high heat, and on top of a preheated baking stone or baking sheet. These tricks help ensure a nicely cooked, never soggy bottom.
This pie crust will be homey, and the pastry won’t come up over the rim of the pie plate. If you want to have fancy fluting, use a regular, roll-out crust.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cut in small pieces
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
Chill your fat and water! This is essential.
Cut your butter into small pieces and add to your measured flour and salt. Cut the butter in quickly and then cut in the shortening. Your mixture should resemble coarse meal. Bigger lumps of fat are just fine aim for pea-sized at biggest.
Slowly add the water and watch closely as you work it in with the edge of a spatula or continue pulsing. It should still look dry. Grab some with your hand and squeeze. Did it hold together? Then you have enough water. If it didn't, or you're not sure, add a little more and mix quickly. Test again.
Divide the dough in half to make single crust amounts. Wrap up the dough up by placing a portion of it on a piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap, instead of your hands, push the dough into a flat disk. Refrigerate this for an hour or more.
Sometimes dough gets too hard in the refrigerator. If this happens to you, let it warm up a little (15 or 20 minutes) on the counter before you roll it out.
Using a lightly floured board, begin by rolling from the middle of the disk up. Turn the dough one quarter and repeat. To avoid toughening of the pastry, always roll in one direction and turn the dough often. For berry pies or other pies that may leak, roll the crust a little thicker.
Carefully fold the dough in half, pick it up and lay across the pie plate. Open up the dough and gently work it into the plate. If it tears or splits, just pinch it together again, or use scraps to repair any holes. Crimp the edges.
Use the dough as called for in your recipe. Some call for an unbaked pie crust, and some call for a baked pie crust.
All-Butter Pie Crust
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 2 H, 20 M
- Serves 8 | Makes one (9-inch) double crust
Ingredients US Metric
- 1 3/4 sticks (7 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar [Editor's Note: Yes, red wine vinegar]
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface and the pan
- 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Canola-based cooking spray, for the pan
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, setting apart 5 tablespoons. Freeze those 5 tablespoons for 20 minutes or up to overnight. Stash the remaining 9 tablespoons in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Stir the red wine vinegar into the cold water.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse 5 or 6 times to combine.
Add the 9 tablespoons butter and mix for 25 to 30 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the frozen butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, until the mixture is in pea-size pieces.
Add 6 tablespoons vinegar water and pulse 6 times. The dough should start to look crumbly. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together, it’s done. If not, add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar water and pulse 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed until the dough holds together.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently knead just until smooth. Do not overwork the dough. It will still be a slightly shaggy mess.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight. (Once the dough is rested, it can remain in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or be frozen for up to 1 week.)
To blind bake the pie, lightly coat a 90inch pie pan with canola-based cooking spray and dust it with flour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle larger than the pie pan. Transfer the dough to the pan and roll a rolling pin over the top of the pan, letting the excess dough fall away. Crimp the edges of the dough as desired. Freeze the pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Place the frozen, crimped pie shell on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the shell with parchment paper or a coffee filter. Fill with uncooked beans or pie weights until the beans or weights are even with the top edge of the crimp. Press down to make sure they spread to the edges of the shell.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pie shell 180° halfway through the baking time. The outer edge of the crimp should be dry and golden brown.
Remove the pie shell from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper or coffee filter full of beans. If the paper sticks to the pie, bake it for 3 more minutes and try again. Once the parchment paper or coffee filter is removed, prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Bake for 3 more minutes, until the interior of the shell is dry and light golden brown.
Let cool to room temperature before filling with your choice of filling. Originally published September 25, 2013.
Recipes using this No Roll Pie Crust Recipe:
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